100th ESA Annual Meeting
August 9 – 14, 2015
Deadline: 5:00 PM Eastern (2:00 PM Pacific)
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Proposals that are incomplete or received after the deadline will not be considered.
All ESA Annual Meeting proposal and abstract deadlines are 5:00 PM Eastern so that technical support and ESA staff assistance will be immediately available when submitters need it. If you begin your submission very close to the deadline, you are choosing to take a risk and we will not make an exception if you don’t complete your submission in time. The form automatically closes at 5:00 EST / 2:00 PST whether you have completed your submission or not.
- About Symposia
- Proposal Format
- Review Criteria
- If Your Proposal Is Accepted
- Important Dates
- To Submit
We invite proposals for symposia for the 100th ESA Annual Meeting, “Ecological Science at the Frontier: Celebrating ESA’s Centennial.” Symposia are the scientific centerpiece of the meeting and will be assigned premium meeting space. These sessions are distinguished from other organized sessions in that they are more explicitly integrated, provide an overall synthesis on their topic, and have broad enough appeal to generate large audiences at the meeting.
Proposals are encouraged to address the meeting theme, “Ecological science at the frontier: Celebrating the ESA Centennial,” if appropriate, but doing so is not necessary. Any timely and coherent subject of broad ecological interest will be considered. We also welcome proposals that explore interdisciplinary connections with areas of social and natural science outside of ecology or that relate to ecological education at any level.
The meeting will include 24 symposia, each running for 3.5 hours. A symposium consists of 6 talks, each 30 minutes in length, followed by a 20 minute period devoted to discussion. Proposals listing more or fewer than 6 confirmed speakers will not be considered.
All proposals must include:
- Title of symposium
- Principal organizer (Name, institution, email) Note that this person is the point of contact for the session and responsible for communicating with speakers.
- Co-organizers (Names, institutions, emails).
- Moderator (Name, institution, email) The moderator may not serve as a speaker in the symposium.
- 6 Speakers (Names, affiliations, emails, and tentative talk titles). Only speakers who have been contacted and have committed to the session should be listed.
- Session description (< 400 words) : Should focus on the theme of the session. May include background information, goals, objectives, importance, and interest to the membership of ESA. The description should avoid overly specialized language. Any ecologist attending the meeting should be able to understand it. It will appear in the online program and be read by attendees deciding whether or not to attend the session.
- Session justification (< 250 words): The justification should focus on how the review criteria are met by the proposal. It should not simply repeat the description.
- One sentence session summary (<50 words): This is a very short version of the session description. It will appear in the print program and be read by attendees deciding whether or not to attend the session.
As of 2013, symposium proposals are no longer endorsed by ESA sections and chapters.
All proposals will be peer reviewed and scored by reviewers selected by the ESA Program Committee. The Program Committee may accept, decline, or offer an opportunity to present the proposed work in a more appropriate format (organized oral session, workshop, or special session). Session organizers will be notified of decisions by December 11, 2014.
Symposium proposals will be assessed using the following criteria. The weighting of particular criteria may vary depending on the nature of proposals.
A strong symposium proposal will:
- offer significant contributions to ecological understanding
- present innovative or interdisciplinary approaches, including novel collaborations or syntheses across subdisciplines of ecology or with other related disciplines
- provide examples of how ecological research benefited from attention to public policy concerns, outreach or educational activities
- have broad enough appeal to generate large audiences (>250 people) at the meeting
Structure and organization
- be more explicitly integrated than other oral sessions
- provide strong overall synthesis or overview; they should not be simply a set of related case studies
- avoid taking a narrow perspective on the symposium topic (organizers should carefully avoid the appearance of biases toward their own perspectives)
- build a well-integrated whole (each talk should have clear relevance to the overall synthesis provided by the symposium)
- list exactly 6 CONFIRMED speakers (speakers who have been contacted and have committed to the session)
- include a specific title for every speaker’s talk
- offer a diverse mix of speakers, each of whom brings new contributions to the session
Other Details To Consider
In the interest of broadening participation, an individual is allowed to be the lead organizer for only one scientific session (symposium, organized oral, or organized poster).
The moderator of a symposium must be someone who is not a speaker in that symposium (they may speak in another session). An organizer of a symposium may serve as its moderator or one of its speakers, but not both.
Speakers who commit to speaking in a symposium should be aware that the one presentation rule will be enforced. That is, anyone who is the presenter in the session cannot also present in another scientific session (symposium, organized oral, organized poster, contributed talk, contributed poster). Organizers are responsible for notifying any speakers they recruit about this rule.
The one presentation rule does not apply to participants speaking in Ignite sessions, special sessions, workshops, or a plenary. There is an exemption to the one presentation rule for an author submitting an abstract for a second presentation IF the second abstract is directly related to ecology education, scientific outreach, or the history of ecology or ESA. If you are unsure whether an exemption would apply in your case, please ask.
If Your Proposal Is Accepted
After acceptance decisions have been made and the scheduling for the meeting is underway, cancellations and schedule changes are very disruptive to meeting planning. It is therefore very important that symposium organizers obtain firm commitments from their invited speakers before submitting their proposal.
If a proposal is accepted, the organizer will be required to submit an up to date version of the session details and confirmed speaker list in January.
Organizers will be informed of their session’s time and date in mid February. Symposia may be scheduled for any oral session timeslot between Monday afternoon and Friday morning. The program committee will attempt to avoid any overt conflicts between sessions and will give organizers an opportunity to notify us of known scheduling conflicts (strictly defined as conflicts between accepted sessions).
Communication With Speakers
If a proposal is accepted as a session, it is very important that the organizer communicates with speakers between December and August about the acceptance status of the session, the confirmation status of speakers, abstract requirements and deadlines, session scheduling information, and expectations for participation in the conference. Here are a few details that all speakers should know up front. Miscommunication about them can disrupt session planning later in the process.
We are unable to honor scheduling requests. When asking speakers to commit to the session, organizers should inform them that the session could be scheduled any day Monday through Friday. We cannot schedule or move a session to accommodate the availability of speakers.
Speakers who fail to submit an abstract on time will be removed from the session. It is the responsibility of the symposium organizer to make sure each speaker submits an abstract for his/her talk using the unique link that will be emailed to each speaker in January. And this starts with making sure all of your speakers are aware of the deadline early on.
All speakers are required to register for the conference. Registration will not be waived or reduced for any speaker. We greatly appreciate the contributions of invited speakers, but due to the number of organized sessions, we typically invite over 800 speakers each year. ESA is not able to provide any financial assistance, stipends, free or reduced registration, travel assistance, or paid lodging to session organizers or to individual symposium participants. Organizers are responsible for making this clear to their speakers.
For Session Organizers
Once a Symposium has been accepted and listed online, cancellation imposes a serious burden. Do not submit a proposal if you are uncertain that you will be able to fulfill your obligation to organize and conduct the session. Once a session is accepted by the Program Chair, cancellation by the session organizers will preclude the organizers from being allowed to submit any proposals for sessions for the 2016 ESA Annual Meeting.
Instructions for how to cancel are included in all notification emails sent to presenters. Presenters should reply to any of those emails to cancel.
Late Cancellations And No Shows
The deadline for cancellation without risk of penalty is May 1. Cancellations after May 1 (late cancellations) and failures to give scheduled presentations without any notice (no shows) are disruptive and leave gaps in the program that are a source of frustration for attendees. Therefore, ESA enforces the following penalties for avoidable situations which result in gaps in the meeting program.
Before submitting an abstract, presenters should be reasonably confident that they will attend the meeting and make the presentation as scheduled. Presenters in uncertain funding situations should cancel by May 1 or be prepared to pay the late cancellation fee.
Late Cancellations (after May 1)
The late cancellation fee is $50 USD for all presentation types (invited and contributed, posters and talks). It applies only to the presenting author, not to any coauthors.
The no show penalty is a one year presentation ban, regardless of presentation type (posters and talks). Any abstract with the penalized author listed as the presenting author will not be accepted for the following year’s conference. This penalty applies only to the presenting author, not to any coauthors. The ban is for presenting a formal talk or poster only. The presenting author can still organize a session, be listed as a coauthor, and attend the conference.
We realize that sometimes unforeseen events outside of a presenter’s control prevent them from presenting as scheduled. For example, a flight cancellation, medical condition, or family emergency. A presenter in such a situation should reply to any of the notification emails sent to presenters. Messages and notes passed in person on the meeting site are highly unreliable! Email is by far the best method for letting us know what has happened. We may not be able to respond during the conference but we will save all such messages for processing after the conference.
The late cancellation and no show penalties will not be applied to presenters with understandable and unavoidable reasons for not attending the conference (medical issues, family emergencies, unforeseen travel problems, difficulty acquiring a visa for travel to the US, and similar situations outside of a presenter’s control). Late cancellations due to a presenter’s inability to secure funding to attend, starting a new job, or other scheduling conflicts are considered avoidable.
If a cancellation is unavoidable, the author should notify ESA as soon as possible. Please let us know if you will not be able to present, even if you are cancelling on a date close to or during the Annual Meeting. If you are cancelling after May 1 and would like us to consider waiving the applicable penalties, please include a brief reason for the cancellation when you contact us. We realize that in the cases of no shows, sometimes a presenter’s immediate problems cannot be communicated to ESA staff until after the scheduled presentation time has passed. We will be lenient for such situations if we receive some sort of explanation from the presenter, even if the message is sent after the presentation would have occurred. For other cases, where there is not a compelling reason and no notice was received, the no show penalty will be enforced.
A replacement speaker is allowed (and encouraged) if your plans change close to the conference dates. If circumstances prevent attendance for a scheduled presentation, the presenting author should attempt to find another person to make the presentation on their behalf. A coauthor is ideal, but the substitute speaker does not necessarily need to be a coauthor. If you have arranged for a replacement speaker after May 15, you do not need to notify ESA because we cannot update the program. However, please notify session organizers if applicable.
|September 25, 2014||Deadline for submitting a proposal to ESA.|
|December 11, 2014||Notification of acceptance sent to organizer.|
|January 12, 2015||Deadline to submit session revisions and confirmed speaker lists.|
|February 12, 2015||Notification of scheduling (session date and time) sent to organizer.|
|February 26, 2015||Deadline for speakers to submit abstracts.|
You must submit your proposal using the online submission form. Proposals sent by email will not be considered. When you submit your proposal, you will be automatically notified of receipt by an email sent to the address that you provide. If you do not receive such a notification, please contact Program Coordinator Jennifer Riem at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm that your proposal was received. You will be able to return to the proposal to edit it until the submission deadline has passed. Information on how to do so will be included in the automated email.